Scandinavian Business Seating, the owner of the HÅG trade mark, has today been granted the right to use the Swan eco-label for its HÅG Capisco 8106 office chair. This chair has already won an array of awards for its user qualities and characteristic design. HÅG is the first office chair manufacturer to be granted the right to use the official Nordic eco-label, the Swan.
“This is a wonderful award that recognises the environmental work being carried out by HÅG”, says CEO Lars I. Røiri. “HÅG’s philosophy is that everyone bears a responsibility for safeguarding our common environment and for having a social commitment. HÅG wants to be an environmental lighthouse. This makes heavy demands, but this award proves that we are on the right track.”
“Many professional buyers who now take the environment into consideration are seeking products that bear the Swan eco-label. It is therefore extremely satisfying that HÅG can contribute by providing them with an alternative”, says Alvhild Hedstein, Director of Nordic Eco-labelling, who believes that others will follow suit.
HÅG designs and markets office chairs for the Nordic and international markets. Lars I. Røiri points out that the professional buyers’ increasing environmental consciousness has been an important driving force. “Earlier, we heard many fine words but saw very little action. This is now changing”, he says.
“The company started to put environmental issues on the agenda as early as in 1995, when it started to use recycled plastic bottle caps and old car bumpers in its production when moulding backs and seats. The Norwegian public sector is required to minimise the environmental impact of making purchases. If products that bear the Swan eco-label are chosen, a high environmental standard is guaranteed.”
Eco-labelling calls for reducing the use of substances that are harmful to health and the environment, as well as for using recycled metal and plastics, the possibility of end-of-life recycling, good durability and wear resistance. It also puts demands on the manufacturer’s handling of waste and internal control.
”WE DO NOT INHERIT THE EARTH FROM OUR PARENTS. IT IS ON LOAN TO US FROM OUR CHILDREN.”
CORPORATE ENVIRONMENTAL ACCOUNTS BASED ON THE GHG PROTOCOL
One of the most important elements in climate management is the preparation of corporate environmental accounts. HÅG’s model is based on the international standard, Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative, which is the most widely used international standard for measuring greenhouse gasses. The GHG protocol consists of two accounting standards (“corporate accounting” and “reporting and project accounting”), which explain how to measure and report harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The protocol is the result of a 10-year collaboration between the private business sector, authorities and the environmental movement and in 2006 it formed the basis for the ISO 14064-I standard.
THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCTION
The five principles of environmental production are:
- Low weight
- Few elements
- Quality materials (that can be recycled)
- Long product life cycle
- “Cradle to cradle”*).
*) At HÅG the office chair life cycle is referred to as “cradle to cradle” as opposed to “cradle to grave”. What this means is that HÅG chairs do not end as scrap, but can easily be taken apart so the individual quality components can be recycled. This is a fact worth remembering when you consider that it takes nine times as much energy to develop a new aluminium base than it does to recycle an old one.
EMAS stands for: Eco Management and Audit Scheme and is the EU’s voluntary scheme for companies seeking to go beyond the stipulations of mandatory environmental requirements. Through its participation in the scheme HÅG is committed to regular environmental reporting which must document environmental output and performance. HÅG was the first office chair manufacturer in Europe to become EMAS registered in 1995.
GREENGUARD ENVIRONMENTAL INSTITUTE
The GreenGuard Environmental Institute (Georgia, USA) is an industry-independent, non-profit organisation which in association with Air Quality Science offers to test products and approves furniture and materials for use in office environments.
EPD stands for: Environmental Product Declaration. In 2003 HÅG began mapping and documenting the environmental impact of all seating solutions. In December 2004, HÅG was the first manufacturer of office furniture in the world to achieve ISO 14025-EPD environmental certification for all its products.